One of the most undervalued subgenres of stock photography is lifestyle images. Many
photographers aren’t enthusiastic about working in the field of commercial photography,
even though it is rife with well-paying clients who have an insatiable appetite for
new, cutting-edge images. And that’s why, for the skilled photographer, lifestyle
photography is one of the most lucrative industries.
Commercial lifestyle photography that hits home captures a moment in time and
makes you feel something. The audience is put in a position to put themselves (or their
friends and family) in the situation being depicted, or at least to wonder what it would be
like if they were.
Many people who purchase lifestyle photographs do so in the hopes of forging a personal
connection with the subject matter. Lifestyle photography that conveys such a message
has strong marketability, broad appeal, and little to no direct competition.
Most photographers, for better or worse, are awkward around people and hesitant to
actively guide their models during photo shoots. Many people who call themselves
lifestyle photographers prefer to stand back and record people in action rather than
getting in there and composing the shots that their clients want.
Consequently, those lifestyle photographers who take a serious approach and work with
carefully chosen and directed models to create powerful images with a clear message or
storyline are likely to have a lot of success. For more information visit greetings us.
If you’re in charge of the shoot, you can use (unpaid) family and friends as models. That
usually entails making sure the intended message is understood and that all the elements of the image (the setting, the clothes, the styling, the props, the poses, the expressions, the lighting) work together to convey that message.
Simple is best when it comes to lighting. When shooting outside, it’s a good idea to have two spots picked out—one for cloudy days and another for when the sun is shining
brightly. Make sure you have access to reflectors and fill lighting in case you need to
adjust the intensity of the spotlights. Using reflectors and bounced light, an off-camera
flash can often achieve the desired effect in an indoor shoot.
Talking to your model(s) before, during, and after the shoot is crucial. As a pre-startup
preparation, make sure everyone is on the same page and understands the plan. Then, as
the shoot begins, experiment with a few different tones and concepts to see what your
model responds best to. Once you’ve narrowed your focus to a few ideas, you can tackle them one at a time, giving the model-specific instructions as needed to capture the best
Despite this planning and organization, the true secret to producing great lifestyle
photographs is making the subjects appear natural and unloosed. Models should engage
both physically and emotionally with the setting you’ve created for them, rather than
focusing solely on the camera.
The images must be coherent as a whole, and there must be some action (aside from the
taking of the photograph) that the viewer can immediately recognize and relate to. There
needs to be enough information for the reader to understand what’s happening, but not so much that it becomes confusing.
Beyond that, however, the range of acceptable topics and themes is virtually unlimited.
Anything involving people sports, recreation, family time, mealtime, or downtime can
sell, provided it is shot in a way that allows buyers to insert their message into the
Buyers of lifestyle photography will care just as much about the diversity of your model’s racial and cultural backgrounds as they will about the actual activity itself, so it’s in your best interest to switch up the faces in your shots whenever possible. By switching up the
characters, outfits, hair, and props, you can give the same set an infinite number of
Finally, keep in mind that lifestyle photographs focus entirely on the subject and the
circumstances surrounding the shoot. Amateur models, unfortunately, often have trouble
conveying that, so if you’re serious about this, you’ll either need to pay for professional
models or become very skilled at directing your volunteers.
You’ll be shooting some of the most lucrative stock photography possible if you focus on
creating images that people can look at and connect with images that people recognize
themselves or their friends and family in, or wish they could be part of.
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